What's Your One Thing?

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If you look around there is alot of sameness in the way churches look to people on the outside. There just is. There are plenty of entities that do average well, and a few that rise above the sameness of average. Stop and think about the organizations that are different. Think about those organizations that are extraordinarily unique and special. We're all drawn to something different... something with a richer story at its core. Something that is apparently alive and confident in where its going.

We work with plenty of clients that are unsettled with average branding and communications. Being average in today's world is to be invisible in many ways to many people. Today, people see an average organization as one that may be stuck in a rut or simply going through the motions. There are plenty of stimulating quotes on the topic of mediocrity as it relates to an organization's culture or brand. Following are quotes taking from some respected minds and a few from some obscure perspectives as well...

+ "There is no value in sameness."
+ "Stop letting your fear condemn you to mediocrity."
+ "The difference between mediocrity and excellence is effort."
+ "Don't be afraid of being different, be afraid of being the same as everyone else."
+ "I'm done with mediocre, I'm ready for awesome."

There are many critical attributes of churches that stand above sameness, that rise above just being average. One challenge and question I ask of you:

What's the One Thing our church wants to own and be known by? 

With this exercise, we're not talking about your theological positions or some of the obvious answers that go without saying. The one thing that defines your church will likely be very different than churches down the street and across town. Your church should be so focused on its mission and its unique spiritual culture so that the "one thing" you are known by is obvious and naturally evident to everyone. What's your mantra? What's your rallying cry? What's your "one thing"?

+ Unity around a mission... having a unifying rallying cry
+ Clarity of who you are and what you are about
+ Creates movement and something to strive for
+ Clear differentiation from others
+ Creates boldness and distinctiveness
+ A start point to share your story
+ A start point to expand your story
+ A start point to shout your story

Let me remind you that we are not advocating that this "one thing" statement replace your defined mission statement. BUT, the "one thing" concept should compliment and reinforce your mission statement. The two should exist together and build the other up.

The Presbyterian church over the mountain is known for "embracing grace". The Church of Christ in North Atlanta "Loves First". To the church in the valley of the Blue Ridge mountains whose community knows them as "compassionate". To the liturgical church that owns "joyful Christ followers". To the church in Flower Mound that says "we're imperfect people, worshipping a Perfect God". To the mid-western Methodist church that "Loves its Community". To the leader in Ohio that shares "no exceptions". We could go on and on with examples of churches and leaders that clearly know and have their "one thing" defined. 

What's your one thing and what are you going to do with it? What's the one big thing you want more people to takeaway from experiencing your church?

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Brian Jones